So, before we get started, I need to tell you that this page gives the basic explanation of what you need to do to complete assessment of a core class as an instructor.  If this is your first time doing it and you want the full spiel, click to go to the longer version.  If you’ve already read all of this and just need a document or link, head on over to the shorter version.


Important Note: The information on this page is written for a very wide audience, but there are a few exceptions to some of the things I’m saying for certain core categories. You’ll find notes specific to each category at the bottom of the page

The short version

You need to select an assignment (or multiple assignments) from your course that you can evaluate to see how well students did in meeting the learning goals for your core category. Once you’ve selected your assignment(s) you’ll need to fill out rubrics for each student’s work and submit the rubric scores to the Assessment Office along with electronic copies of the assignment and the student work.


Each learning goal should be measured by at least one assignment in the course. It’s best to choose an assignment that comes after students have had a chance to do the learning, and, since we want them to do their best work, it should be probably be emphasized (either through your drawing attention to it or making it worth a substantial portion of their grade).  Other institutions’s experiences suggest that students do better on assignments that seem worth spending time on.  If you can measure multiple goals via the same assignment, that’s even better: setting fewer tasks for students allows them to focus their attention and energy.  The assignments do not have to be the ones listed on the core application for this class.

Submitting data and student work via Canvas (preferred) for MOST USERS

There are only a few basic steps to follow.  (Each of the basic steps links to a short document explaining what to do in detail with screenshots.)

Note: The grading app inside of Canvas (SpeedGrader) cannot display files from the Office equivalents that come native to Macs (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote), which can make grading and assessment difficult.  You may want to ask Mac-using students to “Save As…” into a version that will work, either the Office versions (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx), plain text, or .pdf. (They are probably used to this request, honestly).

If you need a rubric you aren’t seeing, just let me know–they don’t take long to build.


Submitting data and student work via Canvas (preferred) for ADVANCED USERS

There are a few situations where you’ll need to follow the just-barely-more-complicated steps:  if you want to split one rubric onto multiple assignments (maybe the first two rows apply to one essay but the rest of it would be better used on a project) or if you want to use your own rubric for grading.


Submitting data and student work outside of Canvas

  • Scan the student’s work for the assignment(s) you chose and either send the files to me (as .pdf files, please) or share them with me via Dropbox or Google Drive. Please let me know what course and section the papers are from, and please send a description of the assignment, preferably the instructions the students received.
  • Create a spreadsheet to hold the rubric scores for every student in your class for each assignment.  The instructions are here.

Even if you can’t or don’t want to have student upload their work, you can still use Canvas to provide rubric scores if you want. If the assignment is done by hand or in some software external to Canvas, send me copies of the work as if you weren’t using Canvas.  If the student’s “work” is ephemeral—a performance, say, or class participation over the course of the semester, I’d be glad to get a recording or work with you to determine the best means of documentation.  If nothing else works, then we’ll do without the student work.


For those following the basic steps, it’s best to have everything set up in Canvas before the assignment is due, but as long as you get it done enough time before the end of the semester that students have time to upload, you’ll be OK.

For those following the just-barely-more-complicated steps, you need to have everything set up in Canvas before you start grading using your own rubric.

You should have the rubric scores completed and saved by no more than one week after grades are due for the semester in question.

Learning Goals